Modifying eating habits can make a big difference in how your senior feels, especially if she’s dealing with health issues. But making these kinds of changes isn’t always easy to do.
Start a Food Log.
One of the best ways to start making some changes with your elderly family member’s eating habits is to track what she’s eating now. A food log doesn’t have to be complicated at all. A simple spiral notebook allows you to jot down what she’s eating and when. When you do this before you start making changes, you get an idea of what her current eating habits really are. Elderly care providers can help with tracking during the day.
Make Little Changes.
When you do start making changes, they don’t have to be big ones. For instance, if she hasn’t been eating breakfast in the past, adding breakfast can help her get nutrients into her earlier in the day. If she’s eating a lot of processed foods, swapping out one healthy meal for one of the ones that would have ordinarily been processed can help. You can gradually increase the changes as she makes progress.
Don’t Eliminate All the Foods She Loves.
A big mistake lots of people make when trying to eat healthier is that they try to get rid of all of the foods that are deemed unhealthy. If your elderly family member loves some specific dishes or meals that aren’t really all that healthy, she doesn’t have to ditch them altogether. You can try to modify the recipe so that it’s a little healthier or you can just keep it in rotation, but a little less frequently.
Start with Reasonable Goals.
When your elderly family member is ready to start making changes, develop a list of goals for her to achieve. Those goals need to be reasonable for where she is right now and where she wants to be later. If a goal is a big one, then breaking it down into smaller chunks can help make the entire goal more attainable.
Get Help with Planning.
Something else that might help is to get some assistance with planning meals for your senior. Her doctor can give you some ideas, but you might also want to consider working with a nutritionist as well. They can help you to modify recipes your elderly family member already enjoys so that they’re a little healthier.
It’s tough to change eating habits overnight, so it’s important to work on this at a slow and steady pace with changes. Your senior is likely to experience benefits even before she hits all of her goals, which can help motivate her to keep going.